ANN ARBOR, MI – When it’s done, it won’t just be an RV – it will be the Electric Love Lounge.
And it was definitely a work of love for the photographer Yana Galanin and the hairdresser Jackie Caminita.
With the help of Full Auto LLC in Ann Arbor, the longtime friends will soon complete the conversion of their 1967 Nomad Camper into a multifunctional motorhome that will be available for events and parties in Michigan and Ohio this fall.
“We wanted the motorhome to be versatile. Whether it’s a photo booth at a wedding, or a stage for an artist to sing on at a festival or at a farmers market, it’s endowed with sound and color, “Galanin said.
Galanin bought the camper from a friend for $ 2,700 in 2018 and received a very long, expensive, and drawn-out project they call the Electric Love Lounge.
The purchase was inspired by her trips to the west, particularly California. She wanted to bring some of that culture to Michigan.
“I was very inspired by the West Coast … like Burning Man and all that stuff,” said Galanin. “I noticed that even though people have roots in certain places, they also had the opportunity to remain nomadic. And I loved getting your business and fun out on the streets. “
Galanin and Caminita, both inspired by this nomadic lifestyle, started fundraising in 2018 by posting their GoFundMe on Facebook to raise funds and get started and raise about $ 2,000.
“So we made the video, we made flyers, we did all of these things. We have the floor out there, ”said Galanin.
In 2019 the difficult task of finding the right dealership to renovate the motorhome began.
“It took us forever to find someone who would even take it,” said Caminita. “We came home in August 2019 and I remember the next opening was October of the following year so you can just get started.”
Both immediately phoned every car store in town and were eventually taken to Full Auto LLC in Ann Arbor, a car store that previously turned a Volkswagen van into an ice cream van.
With the help of Galanin’s 11 and 12 year old daughters, Galanin and Caminita spent the summer gutting the camper before handing it over to Full Auto LLC in February 2020.
“We spent all summer gutting it and taking it apart,” said Caminita. “And the neighbor across the street was super gracious and let us keep it on his property and burn whatever we had to.”
After Full Auto LLC determined the extent of the damage it wasn’t sure they had the tools to complete the job, but soon took up the challenge with the help of Galanin.
“It was rotten, the only thing that was originally was the roof,” said Mike Durston, co-owner of Full Auto LLC. “We all made new walls, new floors, we redesigned them, we put a bigger door in, a couple of LED lights, moldings, wooden floors, sheet metal ceilings. It was a chore, it was a lot of work. “
The design of the motorhome should be clean, light and airy, with a touch of gloss, said Galanin.
Delivery and shipping costs tripled during the pandemic, Galanin said.
“It was also very difficult to obviously let it all happen during the pandemic because now … we are in the process of putting money into this beauty, there was a little bit of fear,” said Galanin. “But it definitely got through to us when we knew, hey, this is over and we know how much people miss the party. As soon as the party starts, we’ll be there. “
The project is expected to be completed later this summer, and when all is said and done the project will have cost them around $ 50,000, Galanin said.
The Electric Love Lounge is slated to be available to Michigan and Ohio residents this fall and will be driven to specific locations upon request, Galanin said. Photo and sound equipment can also be rented, she said.
Galanin and Caminita continue to raise funds for the Electric Love Lounge on their GoFundMe.
You can find more information on Facebook and Instagram.
A video about the mission of Galanin and Caminita can be found here.
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